Bluetones singer returns to Cellars

Mark Morriss
Mark Morriss
Pupils from Cliffdale Primary Academy

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Britpop band The Bluetones knocked Oasis off the top of the charts in 1996 with their hit single Slight Return.

The band split in October after a farewell tour, but it’s not the end for frontman Mark Morriss, who is preparing to throw The Cellars at Eastney into an indie frenzy at the venue’s annual Happy Holidays bash.

Mark will play some of The Bluetones classics as well as new solo material which has never been heard before at the gig on Thursday.

The singer takes influences from his Britpop background and mixes them with dark folk melodies creating a stripped down melodic pop sound, as heard on his debut album Memory Muscle in 2008.

He is currently working on a new album for 2012 and plans to spend next year gigging to introduce his new material.

He says: ‘Although I feel sad that The Bluetones have come to an end as it’s something I’ve been doing my entire adult life, I can focus my energy on something else.

‘I’ve always considered myself as a pop musician and I won’t tinker with that too much, but this time round I want to experiment.

‘Hopefully I’ll be collaborating with other artists and younger singers,’ he explains.

Mark continued playing and touring with The Bluetones while working on his own music. Now, after the band’s final tour, he is set to see 2011 out with a bang with a return to The Cellars.

The Happy Holidays event has seen Mark headline for the past three years, resulting in consecutive sell-outs and crowds bursting through the doors.

‘It’s a part of my Christmas and a tradition now. The crowd are there to listen and have fun,’ says Mark.

He adds: ‘Really there’s nowhere else like The Cellars, not only in the area, but in the whole of the country.

‘It’s a unique little arts centre, it’s a pub, gig venue, and comedy club and it’s got a unique atmosphere.

‘Everyone has a good time here, both the performers and the audience. It’s got a real sense of intimacy and engagement with the audience as a performer.’

Mark Morriss is at The Cellars at Eastney on Thursday from 8pm with support from Andrew Foster, Ben Dlugokecki and B of the Bang. Tickets cost £9 on the door or £8 in advanced from (023) 9282 6249.